Mayor DeLoach pushes for alderman expertise initiative - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Mayor DeLoach pushes for alderman expertise initiative


During Wednesday’s Savannah Downtown Business Association luncheon, Mayor Eddie DeLoach shared an idea that is in the works to give each councilmember projects, of sorts, to work on.

It's important to understand first and foremost that we have a council, manager form of government, which means council sets policies and the city manager and her staff implements policy. Understanding that, through this vision that Mayor Eddie DeLoach has, council members will take on projects or assignments based on their areas of interest or expertise and serve as a liaison between that facet of city government and council.

"I'm just trying to make somebody responsible so that we always have our finger and pressure on that point, because I can't cover all of them and neither can they,” said Mayor DeLoach.

Mayor DeLoach says he has in mind areas of interest for council member's assignments, like finance, city ordinances, youth outreach and public safety. Public safety is the facet 4th District Alderman Julian Miller is taking on, using the knowledge he gathered and relationships he cultivated while working for the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department.

"I think it's brilliant. He did more than just ask us to just lead in these areas. When something comes up in those areas, he actually funnels that back to us so we don't have a lot of people going in different directions trying to accomplish the same thing. Which has been a problem in Savannah for quite some time,” said Alderman Miller.

The details of a 500-position youth internship are being worked out early on by multiple council members, but Alderwoman At-Large Carol Bell is taking the lead.

"We expect to have a partnership with the Board of Education, with the business community and with the County. So we are very excited about what's going to happen with this internship program,” said Alderwoman Bell.

Mayor DeLoach says he believes the delegation of these various responsibilities will ultimately help council meetings run more smoothly and efficiently.

"Once we get people in charge of their areas, and we tie it all together, I think it'll run smooth and people won't be tied up chasing rabbits,” said Mayor DeLoach.

Mayor DeLoach's Chief of Staff tells WTOC they have now reached out to all council members to share the idea of this shared responsibility concept. The mayor said in that interview he hopes to have a sit down meeting with council to further discuss that vision in the near future.

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